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Starside Elementary honored by the State Department of Education

Starside Elementary, along with seven other Kansas schools, was recognized on Monday, September 17th in Topeka by the Civic Advocacy Network (CAN) as a School of Excellence. Starside Principal Kris Meyer, Counselor McKenzi Mispagel, and a group of Starside students accepted the award on behalf of the entire school.

The Civic Advocacy Network was established by the Kansas State Department of Education (KSDE) in order to recognize schools that actively involve students in civic engagement opportunities and to help collect exemplary civic engagement practices to share with other schools across the state. The ultimate goal of CAN is to promote civic engagement as part of all preK-12 students’ experiences.

This is the first year CAN has named award recipients. Schools that meet the award criteria receive one of two designations – School of Excellence or School of Promising Practice.

Kris Meyer, Principal at Starside Elementary, provided this award application summary:

At Starside, our mission is to foster strong partnerships with each other, our families, and the surrounding community. These vital relationships allow us to share resources and learn from one another, promoting intrinsic motivation and leadership within the hearts of our students. Starside Comets give back to the greater good! While our students partake in various classroom simulations of the democratic process, we are most proud of our COMET’s Care Community Service Day. Students, staff, and families come together for an entire school day to support our community through a variety of outreach. As a Title-I school, we have done our absolute best to be community leaders on the forefront of service learning and civic engagement within our school district and the city of De Soto. 

Applications were due June 1 and schools were evaluated and scored by Aug. 1. Award winners were announced by Dr. Randy Watson, Kansas Commissioner of Education, during the Kansas State Board of Education meeting Tuesday, Aug. 14, in Topeka.

Schools that apply for the CAN award but aren’t named a School of Excellence have the opportunity to be named a School of Promising Practice. This award is given to schools that have a particularly innovative, effective or unique program that shows potential for impacting student engagement.